Perception: a Guest Post by Author Sheila Applegate

Sometimes the miracles of life are just beyond the rules of logic.
When we change our perspective, we just might let a little magic into our life!


Please help me welcome new author and CNY neighbor Sheila Applegate to the Planet of the Blind.  Sheila is hosting a virtual book tour, assisted by my wife, Connie, via Authors' Virtual Solutions.  In her guest post below, Sheila brings a fresh new perspective to this planet of mine.

Tell me, have you ever had an experience like this?  If so, please feel free to share it in a comment below.


by Sheila Applegate

How we perceive the world around us has everything to do
with how we experience this world.

Have you ever been faced with a frustrating situation that
no matter how hard you tried to solve there just seemed to be nothing you could
do to change it?

Finally there is the moment of surrender in which you give
up because you do not know what else to do. 
Then out of nowhere you are presented with an alternative that you never
would have believed possible. A simple change in perspective seems to create an
opening for a magical solution.

I experienced this in the middle of an apple orchard on a
beautiful autumn day just this past September.

IMG_20120911_194137Image: photo taken looking up at branches of an apple tree highlights ripe red apples against a bright blue sky

The leaves were just beginning to change, radiating warm
colors against a crisp blue sky. As soon as my kids got home from school, I
piled them into the car for our first apple-picking excursion of the season.

We arrived at the orchard just in time to hop onto the wagon
for a ride deep into the orchard. My 7 year old niece was with us. She was
filled with such excitement that even my teenage children were as giddy and excited as they were when they were her

As we arrived at the designated section the tractor driver
instructed us to stay within the two red flags, giving us about 5 rows to pick

It was a picture perfect day as we picked apples and nibbled
on a few as we went. My kids showed their younger cousin how to take a bite of
an apple while it remained on the tree, a favorite prank their dad had
taught them when they were young.

It was a perfect afternoon.

Once our bags were full we piled them onto the wagon and
climbed up for the ride back to the parking lot. By now we were hot, thirsty and ready to head home. I reached into my
pocket for my keys, only to find an empty pocket. After a long search at the
car we all piled back onto the wagon, explaining to the perplexed driver why we
were heading back into the orchard.

This time, as he told the newly arriving apple pickers to
stay in between the flags he also announced to the group that we had lost a set
of keys, asking people to keep their eyes out for them.

Walking up and down the lanes of trees over and over we
could not find the keys anywhere. Wagonloads of people came and went. Each new group was instructed to keep an eye out for our lost keys.


The kids reached their limit. So I called for help. My
sister came to drive the children home. My friend brought me the spare key I had
at home. Unfortunately, the spare key did not have a computer chip and was
limited to opening the doors. So it was of no use in starting the car.

A call to AAA informed me that a locksmith would be sent to
the orchard to make a new key for a mere $200!  My bagful of fresh apples was starting to look
very expensive!

As my friend and I
waited for the locksmith we decided to walk into the now-closed orchard for
one more look. My friend threw his keys onto the ground in front of me.
Pointing out how easily it should be to
see my lost keys in the grass

I was shocked. As the
search had drawn out for so long, I was now starting to feel like I was looking for a needle in
a haystack. How on earth could I be missing something so easy to spot?

We reached the
familiar red flagged area and as my friend began his search I felt like I was past
my limit.

The thought of walking down this same grassy tree line again
gave me a stomachache. It was as if I could not look for one second longer.

Then I heard a voice from within,  "change your perspective".

A little intrigued, I lifted my gaze from the muddy earth
and once again noticed the incredible view of the horizon that had filled me
with such surrendered joy only a few hours earlier.

I felt my body begin to relax.  As I scanned the horizon, breathing the beauty
in for the first time in hours, I suddenly caught the shimmering silver of my

They were chest high, hanging on a branch, five trees away from where I stood, deeper into the
orchard than I even believe I had gone! 

I actually paused before going to them as my brain
recalculated the impossible.

There is still no logical answer for how those keys got into
that tree. Everyone has his or her own idea of how this happened. Not one of them
seems logical.

Sometimes the miracles of life are just beyond the rules of

When we change our perspective, we just might let a little
magic into our life!




As a clinical therapist, motivational presenter, author & teacher, Sheila's passion is to provide a forum for people to process emotion & integrate spiritual understanding into their daily lives. Her new book, Enchanted One: The Portal to Love, provides readers with a guide to embracing love in every moment.
In celebration of the release of Enchanted One, Sheila is offering this raffle contest for multiple chances to win one of two Amazon Gift Cards.

TAKE NOTE (if I may be so bold)! PLEASE… Share your thoughts and comments below and to show my appreciation and support I am making this special offer (in addition to the raffle contest offer above!).
(Click all links for details).

Poor Me

Melissa’s a  Failure.  (Is she EVER!)
Blue girl is too.
So does that mean that even though I may be a "Poor" 1930’s wife, I’m still superior to them?


As a 1930s wife, I am

Take the test!

tell them  I just missed being a "failure" by one point.  They don’t
need to know I may have stretched the truth just a bit when I said I
"dress for breakfast".  Considering the fact that I am usually in my birthday suit when I roll out of bed, anything I might put on is considered dressing, isn’t it?

~ Connie

George Bush comes to town

Steve and I happened to be in downtown Iowa City yesterday.  I heard a helicopter approach and when it and another passed over our heads I said "It’s George Bush".

Turns out I was right.

This photo captures his helicopter flying over the flooded Coralville strip.

P.S. That’s all I’m sayin’.


Exploring the Empty Nest – on horseback!

Although I have ridden a few times since then, it’s been many years since I’ve actually taken horseback riding lessons.  (Dare I say close toConniearthur_3
20?)  One of Steve’s arguments, or should I say "incentives", for moving to Iowa is the close proximity to the countryside – and horses.  I took his argument seriously and yesterday I took the first of what I hope will be many more lessons.  Meet "Arthur".

I arrived at the stable (Wyndtree Farm) and greeted by a very young lady named Winter.  And I do mean young – as in 11 – and maybe 4′ tall.  Winter had been instructed to meet me and help me get ready for class.  "I’ll go get Arthur" she said.  The next thing I knew she was leading this HUGE horse (16+ hands) down the center aisle.  I’m not sure these photos do him justice.  Just trust me when I say "huge".  It was rather comical watching this supremely confident, tiny young lady handle this gentle giant.  Tossing the saddle pad on his back was a huge stretch for her.  I assisted with the saddle.  It was the least I could do.

I’m pleased to say the lesson was uneventful and most delightful (thank you, Denise!)  My form, it turns out, was not too bad after all these years, or so I was told. Holding it took some effort, however.  Never mind.  I look forward to working on it!

Arthur2Photo descriptions: Arthur is a dapple-gray gelding, 16+ hands.  I was told he’s part Percheron, part Thoroughbred.  In the top photo I am standing by his right shoulder, an indication as to just how big he is (I’m 5′ 2").  In the bottom left photo we see him standing alone.

Could It Be?

My "baby" is all grown up now!Graduated_5

View this montage created at One True Media
Tara, Congratulations!

Click the thumbnail above to view montage of Tara’s graduation from the University of South Carolina, May 9, 2008.  (Summa Cum Laude I might add…)

Photos are of Tara, her brother (Ross, in black), Rick (Tara’s Dad) and Jan, Tara’s grandparents (Bill and Norma), and myself.  I’m sorry to say Steve couldn’t be there for the ceremony.

Needless to say, we’re a proud family.

~ Connie

*Oh gosh, I forgot to mention Tara’s beau, Ryan (in blue).  He’s in some of the photos as well.  Sorry ’bout that Ryan…

Happy Anniversary!


Now why do you suppose my husband would post to the blog today and not
mention that today is our 10th Anniversary?  Honey, as Ricky Ricardo
would say to Lucy: "you’ve got some splainin’ to do…"

Here we are on our wedding day, April 11, 1998.  Steve and I are pictured with my son, Ross, then 9 and my daughter, Tara, 11 1/2.  We were married in Jamaica where we took a "family-moon"  and stayed at a Beaches Resort in Ocho Rios.  Oh, what memories!

I wish I could say we are there again today, celebrating our 10th, but instead Steve and I are here in cold, windy, wet Iowa City.  Never mind.  We’re just as happy here as anywhere else.  Just wish Ross and Tara were here with us…

Happy Anniversary to my dear husband!

"Happy marriages begin when we marry the one we love, and they blossom when we love the one we married." — Sam Levinson